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Preheat your oven to 180. I tend to roast my sausages in the oven just for ease; doing them in a pan gets a bit messy sometimes. They should take about 40 to 45 minutes. Pop the sausages on a roasting tray and put them in the oven. Slice up the onion and chestnut mushrooms and put them in a pan with some olive oil over a low heat. Let them caramelise slowly for about twenty minutes.
While they are doing that, cut up the pumpkin. Do this carefully; sit it flat on a surface and insert a big knife into the top, cutting down through it. Skin it and take the seeds out. You can reserve the seeds and toast them at a later stage if you wish. Grate the pumpkin. Peel and do the same with the potato. Mix the two together in a bowl with some salt and pepper. Melt the butter and add it to the rosti mix. Try not to great the potato too long before you want to cook as it can turn black and become rather unappetising.
Check on the onions; they should be soft and golden by now. Add the vinegar, let it bubble for a moment or two, then add the wine and the chilli flakes. Leave it over the same moderate heat to reduce to a rich syrup. Take an oven-proof frying pan or round roasting dish and place it over a medium heat. Melt a little butter in it and pop in the pumpkin-potato mixture. It should be between 1 and 1 1/2 centimetres thick; leave it on the heat for a few minutes, then pop it in the oven. You can make individual portions if you have chef’s rings or very small frying pans; doing it whole is just as good. The rosti will take about 20-25 minutes. You can flip them half way through if you like.
In a separate frying pan, melt some butter or olive oil over a high heat. Check your wild mushrooms for dirt, and then throw them in the pan, allowing them to colour for a few minutes. When they are done, fish them out and pop them in with the onion and mushroom mixture. If this is still quite liquid turn the heat up for a few minutes and let it boil right down – you are looking for something with a texture more like a chutney than a sauce.
If you’ve done one large rosti, cut it into wedges and serve with sausages on the side and a spoonful of the mushroom and onion mixture on top. The sharpness of the onions, rich sausages and sweet pumpkin set each other off wonderfully.
© William Leigh
1 medium to large potato
Half an onion
2 chestnut mushrooms
a handful of wild mushrooms
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
Glass of red wine
Pinch of chilli flakes